Origin : Dominican Republic
Format : Robusto
Size : 5 x 50
Wrapper : Ecuador
Binder : Dominican Republic
Filler : Dominican Republic
Price : ~$10-11 each
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My wife and I had such a busy weekend planned that it seemed naught but wishful thinking that I would be able to get a smoke in for this week’s review. On Saturday, between sleeping in and making a trek to the animal circus known as the mall, a perfect window popped open and of course, I jumped at the opportunity to fire one up. Pulling together my arsenal and securing a post on the front porch I was ready to settle in with a DVD of The Sopranos and a Diamond Crown Maximus No. 5 Robusto.
Holding this cigar, the first thing that rings out is how good it feels. Perhaps it is because the last couple of smokes have been figurado shaped or smaller vitolas or perhaps it is simply a solid stick; either way, the Maximus has an excellent balance and heft to it. Gaudy, colorful and wide, the band on this cigar looks like a Turkish Bazaar specializing in the sale of Las Vegas memorabilia. Shielding my eyes from the light glinting off of it, I proceed to inspect the wrapper. Unlike the band, the wrapper is dark. Not maduro but similar to a Full City coffee. Regretfully, the first thing I notice is that some chipping has occurred at the foot. As this cigar is one of the first I obtained, this is likely due to mishandling on my part as I was an avid player of humidor Tetris prior to establishing a better system. Only affecting the outermost layers of the wrapper at the foot no less, it does not appear to be of great concern.
Two more significant flaws pull my attention away from this. Within the wrapper there are a couple of prominent veins, which may be enough to throw the burn off course. The other issue of note is that the wrapper is actually wrinkled in one area. It appears as though when the cigar was being wrapped the leaf bunched slightly and caused some ribbing parallel to the seam. Overall, these imperfections appear to be surface flaws because there are no soft spots during the pinch test and the cut it clean.
Initially, the draw is perfect. Prelight notes are of cocoa, earth, and something slightly sweet. Lighting the cigar, the initial puffs allow flavors of earth and pepper to assert themselves. Faint tingling on the back of the throat lingers after expelling the thick white smoke. A sharp burn starts this cigar nicely and does not falter through the chipped foot. Shortly after, the pepper and tingling sensation disappears completely and a slightly sweet flavor crops up again to accompany the earth and cocoa. Exhaling through the nose enhances the earthiness and downplays the sweet cocoa, only to have it come rushing back again after the next puff. After one such series, I realized that the cocoa combined with the sweetness and thicker smoke, creates a profile similar to milk chocolate.
Through the one third mark the Diamond Crown Maximus has maintained a steady, albeit wavy, burn. At this point, however, the cigar begins to canoe. With one side burning significantly faster than the others, rotating and wetting do nothing to resolve the problem. So, the ash comes off and a touchup is done to correct. A slight bitterness presents itself after the touchup but promptly fades. This is also, the only time the cigar required any touchup or that the burn goes significantly off course.
Halfway through, the pepper replaces the sweet and the earth tones take over. There is also a taste akin to toasted almonds. Periodically the bitterness, hinted at during the touchup, came back again. Each time it did, however, it was stronger and drowned out more of the other flavors. As the cigar approached the last inch and a half, the bitterness became too much and I set it down to go out on its own.
Of all the cigars reviewed thus far, this is the first that I have actually tried on another occasion prior to choosing it for a review. Having enjoyed the other one greatly, I was actually quite surprised that this one did not follow suit. The prior smoke was chocked full of coffee and chocolate, which continually seesawed back and forth through the majority of the cigar. I was disappointed in this specific stick’s performance and inconsistency compared to the other one. The scores below are isolated to this specific stick but had this experience matched the prior one, the scores would have been significantly higher. In light of this I would recommend trying one of these to see for yourself. I certainly plan to.
Overall Rating :